Make For Yourselves a New Heart and a New Spirit

posted Apr 2, 2017, 4:42 PM by Colleen Moran

“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the Lord and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”      Ez 18:31

We are more than halfway through lent but there is still plenty of time to continue doing the dirty work of cleaning out the garbage in our souls and creating a new heart and spirit for the Lord to dwell in.  To do this spring cleaning in our souls, we need silence.  Spending time in silence, focusing on God, allows Him the time to show us the the garbage in our souls that we need to get rid of.  It gives God the chance to heal us with His mercy especially if we also go to Confession. The best days of Lent are yet to come.  Let’s not waste them.  Holy week is coming shortly.  We can enter into Our Lord’s passion beginning with Palm Sunday. If we enter into ourselves in silence we will experience the love Our Lord has for us as He approaches His death on the cross. On Good Friday, we can begin the nine day Divine Mercy Novena and pray the Chaplet while meditating on the Passion of Christ.  We can rejoice and be glad, Alleluia, on Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection.  But, don’t let it end there!  God’s mercy is waiting for us a week later on Divine Mercy Sunday. We have such an awesome God who loves us unconditionally.  Why would we hesitate to clean out the garbage in our souls and offer Him with a spotless soul to enter into?  

Quote of the month    “If we don’t believe in the reality of the devil, the cross ultimately has no meaning and the Gospel is just a collection of pious advice.  Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified because he was an irritating life coach.  He died because our eternity, which meant breaking the power of Satan, depended on His sacrifice.”  (Archbishop Charles Chaput)

In our society today, one of the biggest obstacles that keep people from accepting the truth,  and by that I mean moral truth, is that they struggle with or simply choose not to try to live up to the demands of the gospel.  When people fall into sin, they often look for a way to justify their sinfulness.  This is why we live in a “state of moral relativism.” We protect and cover ourselves with the philosophy that there is no truth.  “What’s true for you may not be be true for me.”  “We shouldn’t impose our morality on others.”  “I decide what is right for me.”  “You decide what is right for you.”  Does this sound familiar?   Relativism is so entrenched in the mores of our society today that we have become afraid to speak the truth for fear of being shut down by those who cry; “You can’t tell me what to do. I decide!”   

As Catholics, how should we handle the many voices in our lives who shut us down for trying to teach them the “truth?”  First,  we must always stand up for the truth.  Never back down.  But that doesn’t mean “fight.”  We need to give people the the full gospel message which includes both the truth as well as the grace and mercy of God.  St Francis said:  “preach the gospel always; and at times use words.” With some people it is just best to be a good faithful witness.  Jesus never backed down from the truth. However, he was always ready to forgive and to heal.  I don’t know of anyone who was ever turned off by compassion shown to them.  It’s the only way to preach the truth and change hearts. ( inspiration taken from The Catholic Register, March 5-18, 2017  Pg 11 Understanding Relativism with Mercy, by Ted Sri)

With Easter coming the Friars and Sisters are looking forward to all the Holy week Liturgies.  Friar Suppliers will be providing them with their Holy week and Easter meals along with all the flowering plants for the church at St Adelbert’s  We’ve been decorating their church with plants since the very early Friar Supplier days.  As florists, we have an “in” with wholesalers and will continue to provide the CFR’s with plants and flowers for holidays.  Liturgies during Holy week are open to anyone who would like to go and join the CFR’s in prayer.  If you’re interested in attending and need info about time and place call Charlie and he will fill you in.

Fr. Andrew Apostoli celebrated his 5oth Anniversary of his ordination on St. Joseph’s feast day, March 19th.  Fr. Andrew has been hosting “Sunday Night Prime” on EWTN ever since Fr. Benedict Groeschel was unable to continue because of illness and his passing three years ago.

Fr. Andrew is one of the original eight men that started the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.  He is credited with writing many books, preaching around the world, leading pilgrimages and retreats, and starting the Franciscan Sisters Community. We are proud to know him and honor him on his anniversary.  Congratulations, much love and prayers, Fr. Andrew.  Thank you for all your years of service to the church, Friars, Sisters, and people of God.

Important request   Please do not send us any books.  The CFR’S have more than they have room for.  The people in Haiti do not speak or read english. Thank you.

We always enjoy “food packing day.”  It is fun to visit with the 6 or more friars and sisters who come to help as well as our faithful volunteers.  We couldn’t do this without all of your help.  Br. Gabriel likes to call it the “food packing party.”  It sure is a “party!”  Thank you everyone for all of your help.  Thank you for your generous and faithful donations to help the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal.  The time and funds we spend doing this work frees the CFR’s with more time to serve the poor and enables more vocations to join them.  It’s great work!  Thank you!!

Wishing you all a holy, grace filled, and joyous Easter Season.

Colleen Moran,
Apr 2, 2017, 4:42 PM